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Space Agent is a unique and challenging hands-on role playing game that deeply engages players in both mind and body. Players become space agents tasked with the challenge of hunting and capturing invading aliens bent on Earth’s destruction. The problem? The aliens are invisible and must be tracked by sound alone. Capturing aliens requires great hearing and outstanding coordination, not to mention stamina-the game will give players a great workout in many ways. The game does require headphones.
- Engages both body and mind
- Utilizes iPad’s motion sensitivity in a unique way
- Outstanding sound effects
- Engaging storyline
- Stellar graphics
Developers of Space Agent have obviously worked very hard on this app. It is seamless in its presentation, the sound effects are astounding, and the graphics superb. The app will immerse players in the imaginary Earth where aliens are bent on stealing our oxygen. The app contains a tutorial to help players understand the mechanics of the game, but it would be nice if developers included a bit more help for those of us who are, apparently, quite challenged in some of the required skills. It was quite frustrating not to be able to pass the tutorial for sessions on end, so perhaps a “remedial” level of some sort with additional help that will help players hone the required skills would be in order. Otherwise, particularly younger players may get frustrated with the process before they can unlock the exciting and valuable game play. As it stands, if a player has difficulty with the tutorial tasks, they simply repeat with no additional guidance to give clues about what might be going wrong.
Since I had difficulty with the basic skills required to use this app, I invited an adult friend (and gaming aficionado) to try it out. He felt the target zone for capturing aliens was quite narrow, making the game rather difficult for the target age group. He suggested separating the speech from the alien sounds in the tutorial, since these overlap, and overall, felt that the game was a very interesting concept but that in its present form, was rather difficult to play and could be frustrating to some young users.
Space Agent is an outstanding example of an app that utilizes many of iPad’s capabilities in a very unique way. Not many apps will give such a physical workout as this one might! Players will need to tap into location via sounds (headphones are a must-the sounds are in stereo, but iPad’s built-in speakers don’t differentiate the two tracks) by physically turning toward sounds of the aliens as they approach. Aliens are captured by holding the device flat out in front of the body, then pulling it in towards yourself to “suck the alien in.” It didn’t take too many minutes of play before the spinning and yanking left me rather breathless! It was nice to play an app that required much more than sedentary skills.
In addition to good hearing and a ‘sense of direction,’ players must concentrate and follow directions well. The app includes a detailed storyline that is primarily accessible through reading, so it could provide a motivating reading comprehension exercise, as well.
Once a player gets the hang of the basic movements and tasks involved in the game, it is extremely entertaining (not to mention great exercise for the arms). The storyline about saving Earth will be very motivating for most people. After all, who hasn’t dreamed about saving the world at least a time or two?
Developers poured a lot of effort into creating the storyline and details of this game. It would be easy to get lost in the fiction, which means that the game is likely to really grab and hold kids’ attention. And there are over 80 levels to play, so there is a great deal of play value here.
This app is free to download at the App Store. There are, however, some in-app purchases ranging from ninety-nine cents to $16.99. These are for a “protective shield” that protects the player from damage from alien shots. The shield can be regenerated for free a few times with success in the game, but young players may well clamor for purchase permission if they run out of shield before they run out of motivation to play, particularly when they are first learning how to manipulate the system. Shields range in price from 5 regenerations for ninety-nine cents to $16.99 for an infinite number of regenerations.
This app is child friendly. The in-app purchases are protected by a Parent Gate, but it may not be particularly effective for the target age group of age nine and above. To access the in-app purchases, all a user must do is solve a basic multiplication fact, such as 9 x 2. Developers should consider strengthening this protection and make it tougher for upper elementary, middle school and high school players to make unauthorized purchases.
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES in-app purchase (protected, but visible)
Space Agent is a highly-engaging and intriguing app that does an outstanding job of utilizing the unique capabilities of the iPad and will draw users into a world of active entertainment.